You’ve been washing your clothes all wrong and it could be pushing up your energy bills

Shirley P. Olin

SIMPLE steps around the home can shave money off your bills – even changing the way you wash your clothes.

You might think your washing machine is taking care of things and there is little you can do, but you’d be wrong.

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Reducing your loads is one way to save cash and you should check out eco settingsCredit: Getty

Here’s how you could be washing your clothes all wrong – and how fixing it could help save you money.

With energy bills set to rise within days it’s more important than ever to keep those costs down by being energy efficient.

Turn the temp down – save £12

Turning the temperature down on your washing machine could help cut your energy bills.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could shave £12 a year off of them if you switch from a 40 degree wash to a 30 degree one instead.

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If you usually wash your clothes on an even higher temperature than 40 degrees, turning down the temperature could save you even more dosh.

Uswitch energy expert Will Owen told The Sun: “Use a cold water or 30°C cycle where possible.

“It’s only for particularly dirty clothes, bad stains or underwear that you are likely to need warmer temperatures.”

Use eco settings – save £10

Making the most of the settings on your washing machine means you can usually wash your clothes for the cheapest possible price, saving you money.

Most models of machine now come with an eco-mode, that can be used to save the environment – and some cash.

This setting will use less water and means you’ll use less energy to heat it when washing your clothes.

These are usually set to 30 degrees too, but may also run for a shorter time.

According to British Gas engineer Joanna Flowers, you could save £10 a year from dialling your machine to this setting.

If you’re shopping for a new machine, consumer group Which? says choosing a more efficient washing machine could save up to £55 a year.

It might cost more upfront but you will spend less over the lifetime of the product.

Take a high speed spin – save £40

Many washing machines cycles have a spin at the end of the cycle – but it might be worth doing a second stand alone one.

Your clothes will come out drier than before.

That means you can tumble dry your load for a shorter time, or not at all if you can just air dry it.

The same goes for turning radiators and turning the heating on if you hang washing there to dry.

Ms Flowers said drying clothes naturally instead of using tumble drying could save £40 a year.

But make sure you’re drying them naturally in the right way, she warns.

“In the winter, you should also avoid drying clothes on radiators as much as you can as it will make your boiler work harder to heat the room,” she said.

Reduce the load – save £11

Washing can quickly build up but cutting out just a single load of washing a week could make a big difference.

A six litre washing machine uses around 1kWh of energy for an hour long cycle.

Currently, 1kWh of electricity costs 21p according to Ofgem (though that’s about to rise).

So if you washed your clothes once a week for a year, it would cost you £10.92.

That’s compared to the £21.84 that washing your clothes twice a week for a year would cost.

You should try and make sure your doing a full load each time to reduce how often you use the machine.

And items like jeans can be washed less often than you think, as long as they are aired and not seriously stained, and even then you can try spot washing them by hand.

Washing clothes at night – £13.50

On an Economy 7 tariff, you’ll be charged two rates – usually a higher day rate, and a cheaper night rate.

Making the most of these rates means you could save money on your bills, like savvy saver Scott Dixon does.

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Washing his clothes on a night tariff – which for him starts at 11.50pm and ends at 8.50am – means he saves £13.50 a year.

But exactly how much you could save depends on who your supplier is, how much they charge – so it’s best to check in with your provider to get more details.

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